The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance will be hosting the third annual Holiday Festival of the Arts, which will take place at the Oro Valley Marketplace on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The annual Tucson’s Best contest, presented by Arizona’s Foothills magazine, and chosen by readers, selected this festival as “Best Annual Event” for 2011.
To open the festival, a pre-party, tree-lighting ceremony will take place Friday, Dec. 2, starting at 5:30 p.m. A 25-foot Christmas tree will tower over the marketplace. The actual lighting of the tree will occur around 6:15 p.m.
Co-hosted by the Town of Oro Valley, this preliminary celebration will feature dance and music shows by local schools, crafts, and cookie decorating presented by Best Buy, and a fire pit with s’mores sponsored by the Golder Ranch Fire District.
The weekend will feature a range of live music, as youth mariachi groups, steel drum high school bands, and all-girl singing ensembles will be performing. Old Arizona Brass Band, representing the military and town bands of the western frontier, and The Canal Street Band, playing danceable tunes of the rhythm and blues genres, will also provide entertainment.
During this free festival, shoppers can come to a 115-acre shopping destination and discover local, hand-made artwork, including jewelry, sculptures, textiles, photography, framed paintings, candles, glass art, custom wood creations, pottery and ceramics, metal work, clothing, and much more.
Food vendors will be serving many eatables, including kettle corn, curly fries, roasted nuts, hot veggie sandwiches, Philly cheesesteaks, Italian sausage, fruit smoothies, soft pretzels, gelato, and hot dogs.
Communications specialist for SAACA, Chelsey Killebrew, said that the festival takes place at the Oro Valley Marketplace, which opened in 2008 and is environmentally responsible, for a variety of reasons. One being that it provides, “a chance for merchants and artists to come together to celebrate the holidays and the community,” she said.
SAACA presents multiple fine arts and crafts festival each year in partnership with local municipalities and shopping center developers and owners.
For more information about the event or SAACA visit saaca.org.